Castle ruins, Solec nad Wisłą
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The castle ruins in Solec nad Wisłą are relics of a frontier fortress erected by King Casimir the Great. Its purpose was to protect passage across the Vistula River on an important trade route, served as a temporary royal residence, seat of a castellan, and later of a royal starost. The castle also served as a refuge providing shelter for residents of the city.

Location and description

The castle ruins in Solec nad Wisłą are located about 150 metres to the north-east of the market and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. The castle was built on a steep slope of the Vistula River valley, separated by a deep ravine from the town, as a structure independent of the town.

Fragments of walls and foundations in the south-eastern part and traces of foundations of a cylindrical tower in the north-western corner have survived to the present day. The ruins are unsecured and overgrown with vegetation.

History

The earliest reliable mention of Solec dates back to 1278. Due to its location on an important trade route, in 1325 King Władysław the Short acquired ownership of the town from the monastery of Miechów. The construction of the castle by King Casimir the Great was recorded by chroniclers Janko of Czarnków and Jan Długosz. Throughout the whole period of its existence the castle in Solec, as part of the royal domain, was leased to merited magnate families.

From historical sources it is possible to reconstruct the spatial layout of the fortress. The castle of King Casimir the Great consisted of a cylindrical tower and a residential building. During alteration works in the 17th century bastion fortifications were added, creating a stronghold on a rectangular floor plan, with bastions located in three corners. The older complex was incorporated into the fourth south-western bastion. Records from a survey conducted in 1654 contain a description of the bridge leading to the castle with handrails ‘made with exquisite craftsmanship’, a castle bath with ‘a fountain with a dragon made of concha or sea shells” and an Italian garden in the castle courtyard.

The caste in Solec was built on the so-called ‘raw root’ by King Casimir the Great. The construction work began around the mid-14th century. Between 1615 and 1627 Krzysztof Zbaraski converted the castle into a fortified Renaissance residence. In 1656, the castle was conquered and destroyed by the Swedish army. Around 1780 the structure was partly rebuilt. Demolition of the ruins began in the 19th century.

Condition and results of archaeological research

No archaeological or architectural investigations of the site have been carried out so far. Between 1962 and 1966 only the area of the town was subject to archaeological surveys.

Due to the poor state of preservation the castle is not open to visitors. However, the ruins are easily visible from Zamkowa Street running along the foot of the southern wall.

Compiled by Agnieszka Oniszczuk, National Heritage Board of Poland, 16.10.2014 r.

Bibliography

  • Cieślak-Kopyt M., Skubicha E., Micke I., Twardowski W., Radomskie - alfabet          wykopalisk. Przewodnik archeologiczny,          Radom 1994, pp. 139-144.
  • Guerquin B., Zamki w Polsce, Warsaw 1984, p. 291.
  • Kajzer L. Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warsaw 2002, pp. 463-464.
  • Nierychlewska A., Budownictwo obronne powiatu radomskiego w okresie od XIII do XVIII wieku, Radom 2002, pp. 206-212.
  • Sypek A., Sypek R., Zamki i warownie ziemi sandomierskiej, Warsaw 2003, p. 158.
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. III: Województwo kieleckie, z. 2: Powiat iłżecki, compiled by Olgierd Puciata, Zygmunt Świechowski, Warsaw 1957, pp. 20-21.
  • Wyrobisz A., Solec nad Wisłą. Historia małopolskiego miasteczka, „Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej”, 1964, Y. XII, no. 1, pp. 19-26.
  • Wyrobisz A., Zamek królewski i renesansowa rezydencja starościńska w Solcu nad Wisłą. Relacja zamek - miasto, [in:] Późnośredniowieczne zamki na terenie dawnego województwa sandomierskiego, Kajzer L. (ed.), Kielce 2005, pp. 33-40.
  • Zaniewski P. A., catalogue cardSolec nad Wisłą, [in:] Zamki Kazimierza Wielkiego, Szczecin-Kraków 2012.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: poł. XIV - XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Solec nad Wisłą
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district lipski, commune Solec nad Wisłą
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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